Nov 23, 2015




Clinical Hub,Tools & Resources,UWHC Lab Test Directory,WSLH

M. avium Complex PCR

M. avium Complex PCR (MACPCR) WSLH Lab Test

Name: M. avium Complex PCR

Test Name: M. avium Complex PCR

Health Link Test Code: MACPCR


CPT Code(s): 87556

Clinical Information:

This test detects the M. avium complex. This test is always performed on first smear positive specimens submitted to WSLH.

CDC recommends that TB NAA testing be performed on at least one respiratory specimen from each patient with signs and symptoms of pulmonary TB for whom diagnosis of TB is being considered but has not yet been established, and for whom the test would alter case management or TB control activities, such as contact investigations (MMWR. 2009; 58: 7-10). M. avium complex PCR could be used to release a patient from respiratory isolation in the case of a smear positive, TB PCR negative result.

Testing Site: Testing will be sent to an approved reference laboratory

Specimen: See collection instructions.

Collection Container: State Lab Acid Fast Bacillus (AFB) collection kit

Also Acceptable: Sterile screw cap container

Collection Instructions:

Submit 3-10 mL of a primary respiratory specimen (sputum, tracheal aspirate, brochial washing, BAL).


Sputum: Collect three consecutive specimens, each collected in 8-24 hour intervals with at least one being an early morning specimen.

Gastric Lavage: collect fasting specimen soon after patient awakens in order to obtain sputum swallowed during sleep; place in neutralizing buffer immediately.


Specimens with visible blood will be accepted. All specimens should be submitted in sterile, leak-proof containers.

Stability Refridgerated:

7 days

Stability Frozen:

Not acceptable

Specimen Processing:

PCR testing must be performed within 7 days of specimen collection.

Specimen Transport:

Transport specimen to UWHC Hospital Laboratory. Transport with coolant pack if coming from clinic location.

Unacceptable Criteria:

Specimens from patients who have undergone antimicrobial therapy for more than 7 days in the past 12 months. Specimens from patients for whom suspicion of TB or M. avium complex infection  is low.

Test Limitations:

This tests detects M. tuberculosis complex but does not differentiate among its members.

Additional Information:

AFB smear and culture must also be ordered on any specimen submitted for PCR testing.